Stef Sifandos
Relational Alchemist, Community Builder & Changemaker

Mindful Monogamy – An Open Enquiry

Let me begin by saying that there is no ‘wrong’ and no ‘right’ or ‘boxing in of labels. When choosing for you what is in alignment for your intimate and interpersonal romantic relationships careful consideration of so many factors must come in to play. Any experience we choose to engage in if not mindful carries less of an impact in terms of how we may grow, release and transform. Additionally, these terms of monogamy and non-monogamy can carry stigma. Lets drop that and focus on what it means for us as individuals and remember, there is no wrong and right here – personal preference without malice reigns supreme in this context.

I spent most of my life (the vast majority) internally battling with this notion of are we as humans and can I be with one woman for the rest of my days – emotionally, relationally and sexually? This internal ‘tug-of-war’ has contributed (in part at least) to shadow like behaviour, insecurities, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, the dislike of self and perpetual confusion. It was then, that I realised the importance of exploring the shadow from a place of mindful awareness and deliberate consciousness and so the journey began and continues…


The Research

I have researched. I have observed and studied diverse disciplines in human behaviour, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, cross-cultural mythology, human sexuality, biology, tribal studies and more. It is interesting when we observe all of this what we may discover? In today’s day and age is there a clear delineation between ‘monogamy’ and ‘non-monogamy’? If we lock ourselves in we project expectation outwardly and limitation inwardly. However, when we are simply clear on what resonates with us and we act on that, we are powerful, clear, transparent and present. Then we draw alignment in to our lives. We truly are at a place in history where we are redefining normative nuance and traditional cultural practices. The old is not ‘bad’, how we relate, why we relate and the manner in which we respond is what matters when it comes to our relationships, intimacy, romance, communication, sexuality and self.

Can we actually come from a place of neutrality? Can we actually come from a place of being objective without having our own beliefs (conscious and unconscious), attitudes, models of reality, cultural influences and more not influence our understanding of what we truly desire and what we feel is the best path for us? I had to move away from what I thought humanity needed and began to focus on what I needed – what path did I truly wish to forge for myself? This was difficult as there was residual inner conflict formed during my formative years, childhood and societal norms.

The Spark

I began to observe monogamy as a spark for me to grow in to my truth and evolve. I had to focus on me firstly before I could extend an ethos of being to possibly suiting humanity as a point of growth and evolution. This is not to say that non-monogamy is not a path for growth or expansion, in fact if experienced mindfully and in a connected manner can take us towards a path of enlightenment. Why are relationships so important? How can they serve us? I began to ask deeply how can monogamy serve me? How can it suit me? How may I be in monogamy and utilise it to break old paradigms of behaviour, transcend patterns of pain and restriction, ultimately how could I be deeply engaged in something that would serve my soul?

I looked openly at our biological needs, where are we now, where were we and where are we going? How can relationships enrich our lives? This was a more powerful question for me. Gaining clarity on why I wanted to be in relationship? I concluded and felt deeply in to this question for some time and effectively was asking this unconsciously for so long… I discovered that I had personally reached my cap in terms of expansive potential. I realised that for me there were three paths to take in terms of continuing my growth and expansion in to self, in service to this reality and in to the cosmos.

Growth & Expansion

Before I go in to this, I want to make it clear that growth and expansion of all facets of self is basically the reason why we are here. It is the reason why we carry consciousness and why we have an ability to engage in metacognition. Additionally, we realise that the clarity, immersion into and conviction of our relationships and the manner in which we relate in general are powerful predictable points for our limitless growth and expansion. The greater, more intimate, open, willing, adaptable, connected and full our relationships (to self and others) the more we ascend in to infinite intelligence.

So, I discovered the following:

I had encompassed all growth that I could being on my own and having had the experiences I had moved through being of and in this world. I hit a ceiling with respect to the deeper inner work I could do on my ‘own’. This was not to say that I would never engage in solo exploration, it meant however for me that based on the deep pain, suffering and other experiences I had moved through overt my years – the level of attention paid to my circumstances and the intention held I required profound intimacy in order to continue my expansion in to the cosmos.

I then perceived myself to have three choices:

  1. Remain stagnant and cease to truly grow
  2. Remove myself from this ‘world’ and disappear in to the mountains, engage in ancient mysticism and become a hermit and a student of the cosmos away from this cultural world
  3. Allow my heart to open and be fully present to intimate relationship

A Glimpse In To The Past

Now, this is where it became interesting. For years I yearned for the second choice. To disappear and learn the ancient art of the mystical swami. I no longer yearned for this, nor did I feel that this path was for me any more. When I was focused on this path I was living from a place of avoidance and disconnection. I wanted to be in this world, I wanted to serve, I wanted to be here now, I wanted to experience, I knew I could be of difference to this world and I knew my evolution would come from a merging of the ethereal and the material… Not disappearing in to the wilderness for the rest of my days.

I became fully present to the notion of relationship because I felt it to be in deep alignment with who I was. This then brought me to a place of ‘what form of relationship’? What was the expression of this intimacy? Having observed the historical state of our human evolution and consciousness I began to experiment with the notion of monogamy being the next phase of our collective and individual evolution.

But not a blind commitment to sexual, emotional and psychological monogamy for the sake of it or because someone, an idea or something has told you it is ‘right’, but a choice to recognise true value alignment in another and in relationship and to choose to traverse depth with that individual. To consciously explore and choose to be present to the unraveling that transpires in that unified intimacy.

Of course this can occur in the variety of non-monogamous relationships that exist. What I believe and what I feel is that monogamy is the next stage of our evolution. Again, not to say that an individual cannot choose non-monogamy in order to grow. Perhaps there are deep teachings in relation to their personal path that can only be unravelled through an expression of non-monogamy.

The Power Of Connectedness

When we choose to spend time with one person, remain patient, hold a vision of connectedness, continue to identify deep value alignment and choose to move through the pain as we explore the layers of self through the uniting intimacy of another. I wonder can we truly do this if our human needs are being met in different ways from so many different people? Particularly our sexual needs as we are generally so attached to this.

When in non-monogamy, we have the options and knowing that if we are pushed to our edges in one area, we can still find refuge and comfort in others more easily. The boundaries are tighter in monogamy. Of course there are many variables to how and why this may transpire and to oversimplify this is to do an injustice to all forms of relating. I bring this back to me and my needs and what I feel and intrinsically know will serve my path best. This means that for me choosing monogamy also means being highly selective. Asking deep experiential questions around how I can serve, how I wish to be served, what do I need, what can I offer and do I value growth enough to move through the challenges that will break me through my current limitations.

Love As A Means For Growth

Love can challenge in this human form and the reality is we must be challenged in this human love prior to transcending in to a deeper more balanced love. A love that is not fed by ego, nor tortured by uncontrollable human emotions. This does not mean transcended love is a love that is devoid of feeling, but rather devoid of volatility. Yes, we can experience volatility in all expressions of intimate relating and courtship. However, depth is where we thrive and I ask, how deep can we go in non-monogamy? I am not fully sure? I am certain however that the choice to focus and remain in depth is powerful. Some say that monogamy is denying our biology and limiting our choices as we are variant beings.

What if monogamy is the next phase of our evolution? What if the challenge is really an opportunity to rally our now elevated and continuing to elevate consciousness in such a way that opens up our hearts and souls in to what may be described as the greatest form of human transcendence every experienced. When there are too many items on a menu at a restaurant we become disorientated, we become distant, indecisive, we remain on the surface, we limit and condense our thoughts so that we can choose with greater efficacy. Sometimes, too much choice in life limits and hinders our ability to feel openly, see clearly and be fully in on life.

Our Capacity 

Monogamy allows us a great capacity to be fully in – especially if we are aligned, carry clarity in intention and know what we desire. We can may traverse great deep and its in depth that we discover the fullness, wholeness and power of who we are. There of course is a great deal more to say to this, but I find that my greatest challenges are found in depth and it is in aligned and fruitful challenge where growth for me occurs the greatest.

To commit to one person, not because of societal status, socioeconomics, cultural pressure, politics or outdated customs is to commit to oneself. This does not mean demeaning self, devaluing self or prioritising others at your expense. In my experience I have done this and adhered to conventional norms blindly and unconsciously. I now choose to be considerate to myself and be clear on why I do what I do and how I show up to self and to others.

Most recently I have discovered that the depths of love for me have come from choosing to show up to someone who I truly know has entered my life so that we can grow and serve each other, ourselves and consciousness together longterm and in sacred union – to go in to each other fully and exclusively and learn, grow and teach in focused giving. In this space I have realised that there is little polarisation and a powerfully profound acceptance of: “I am here for the long haul, not because I yearn for drama, but because I realise that the entire spectrum of emotive expression is part of this perfect / non-perfect life and what lends itself to our expansion and that you because of some resonance beyond the purity of hormonal biology I choose you and we choose each other”.

A Personal Choice

I choose the essence of what I deem monogamy to be here and now, because I realise that there is no hiding for me in this point in my life and for the uniques experiences that I have moved with and through. I use tis term to simplify what it is I choose – not to categorise or lock myself in to a label but to rather gain deepened clarity on what it is I perceive and know to need in my life now. I see clearly where we are challenged, yet I hold our purpose of being in sacred and exclusive ‘togetherness’ as a priority. I choose not to waiver from this and remain vertical in my posture and approach. Why? Because I am being pushed to my edge in this space and I am so immensely invested in me, her and us. Yes, at this point there is some ego attachment, however, I am also aware of this and by remaining in consistent and regular stillness, I am able to move through and beyond this and understand myself with greater efficacy and authenticity. I am not sure (because of the vaster array of options) we are able to traverse ‘deeper depth’ when we know there is ‘an exit route’. The ego does well at moving away from pain and finding excuses to avoid being taken to the edge of emotive / relational and spiritual breakthrough or growth – therefore we become stagnant in our lives.

We have moved beyond independent biology and are now more intelligent, wise, culturally complex, expansive, more curious and open in our posturing. We have elevated our consciousness and in this elevation we are greater integrated and what once drove us solely, no longer drives our actions, movement and behaviour in isolation. We are so deeper integrated and connected. There is so much more to who we are. Our multi-faceted nature is expansive and powerful. We must be attentive and mindful to this and therefor embrace the power of unleashing this new and evolved version of self in to the world.

Final (Not So Final) Thoughts

There is a great deal more here. What is of importance is that we traverse depth of being, expression and relating. That we are conscious of the choices we make and why we are making them – aligning legitimate reasons to our actions is liberating. This is what is freeing for us, this is what allows us to break through limitation and integrate the wholeness of our truth in to this consciousness and reality. I guess all of this comes down to in which way you will embrace both your dark and your light and not live in avoidance…? This question of non-polarisation is what will set the tone for the quality of life and that comes down to where you find yourself in the here and now… As a friend of mine says… ‘what is your expansion work’?

One is always glad to be of service. S.Sifandos.

Stef Sifandos
Relational Alchemist, Community Builder & Changemaker
Stef Sifandos
Relational Alchemist, Community Builder & Changemaker

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